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Commenter's remorse? Too bad

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Scott Angus
March 29, 2010

Think twice before posting a comment on gazettextra.com.

Thatís always good advice, but you might be even more inclined to be cautious when you read the following:

We will not grant peopleís requests to remove their comments or disable their usernames.

We received a handful of such requests in the last few weeks and more before that, and the online staff debated how to handle them. We decided on this approach for several reasons.

We donít have the staff or the time to respond to peopleís requests regarding their comments or usernames. We have about 14,000 users, and they post about 10,000 comments a month. We have a hard enough time monitoring comments on controversial stories and responding to suggestions that comments be removed.

We donít want to add to that workload by catering to people who second-guess or regret their comments or who fear being outed.

Think about the possible consequences and repercussions before you hit ďPost comment.Ē If you are a little uncomfortable with the comment before you post it, you might be a whole lot more uncomfortable when you see it on the site and others have a chance to respond.

If you donít want to get into a heated online discussion, count to 10 before posting that inflammatory statement.

Given that users are anonymous, Iím always surprised when people take serious offense to responses to their comments. How can you be personally slighted when the people responding have no idea who you are?

Regardless, if you find yourself regretting your comments and wanting to just disappear on gazettextra.com, stop commenting. Within a few days, your last comment and the story to which it was attached will be deep in the site. The comments will trickle off and end, and your username and your comments will be forgotten.

Sure, people could still search for your comments, but they would have little reason to do that if you were no longer commenting and stirring things up.



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